Lights up for war memorial

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THE future is bright for an ongoing British Legion project at the Mearns Cross war memorial.

The Newton Mearns branch first moved the memorial to the Cross 20 years ago from a site at Mearns primary school, later demolished and replaced by the Avenue shopping centre.

The group set out to create a landscape for the memorial, shaping flower beds around it and erecting a flagpole.

The site is used each November for Remembrance Sunday – and last week The Extra shared photographs of a fitting tribute to Britain’s fallen war heroes.

Now, East Renfrewshire council is stepping in to help erect permanent floodlights around the memorial – a finishing touch after years of hard work.

Jim Neary, chairman of the Newton Mearns branch and an RAF man himself in the 50s, commented: “We took a derelict site, which was an eyesore, and made it a lovely landscaped site with the war memorial in pride of place with landscaped flowers and shrubs.

“We’re very proud of the work the British Legion has done to improve the area and create a suitable site for the war memorial.

“Working with the East Ren roads and lighting department will now allow us to provide permanent flood lighting for the memorial”.

It’s a project which councillor Ian McAlpine, representing the Newton Mearns south ward, is “delighted” to be involved in “to remember those who gave their lives over several generations”.

He told The Extra: “We’re working closely with the British Legion to have the lights installed in the next few weeks.

“The site is looking great and the final touch needed is to floodlight it - the council are happy to do that.

“A lot of people walk or drive past it, so it’ll be a lovely site when it’s lit up, and hopefully it’ll stop vandals from hanging around and create an attractive feature in the heart of Newton Mearns”.

The cost of the floodlighting is as of yet unconfirmed, but work is expected to finish by the end of the year.